I figured there was going to be more anti-gay stuff in this election. I just wasn’t expecting it in an HISD Trustee race.
Some Houston residents are calling for the resignation of Trustee Manuel Rodriguez from the Houston school board after the incumbent distributed a campaign flyer to his constituents earlier this week that included language critical of gay people.
“His records show he spent years advocating for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender rights… not kids,” the campaign brochure says about Ramiro Fonseca, Rodriguez’s opponent in Tuesday’s election for the District III seat of Houston school system’s Board of Trustees.
The flyer states Fonseca has received the endorsement of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, “the South’s oldest civil rights organization dedicated solely to the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.” (The underlined words are underlined in the flyer.)
Fonseca, an administrator for Houston Community College, could not be reached immediately today for comment.
Rodriguez said today that the brochure isn’t anti-gay.
“It’s the truth,” Rodriguez said during a phone interview, adding that he is not anti-gay. “I am not bashing gay people.”
Rodriguez said that the flyer emphasized the endorsement of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus to “indicate who (Fonseca) represents.”
The incumbent said he underlined the words, ‘gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights’ “to make sure parents know who’s going to make policy for their children.”
You can see the flyer here. This is just sad on so many levels. It’s sad that an incumbent feels that running on his record isn’t enough. It’s sad that Trustee Rodriguez doesn’t recognize what he’s done. It’s sad that he thinks not being a parent is a disqualification for being a Trustee – would he advocate a vote against his colleague Juliet Stipeche on the grounds that she hasn’t reproduced, too? It’s a multi-faceted fail.
A statement from the Houston GLBT Political Caucus is beneath the fold. I agree with their call to the Chron to reconsider their endorsement in this race. Every time I think we’re getting past this stuff as a society, I’m reminded that it never goes away, it just goes into hiding. School Zone has more.
HISD Trustee Manuel Rodriguez Sends Out Anti-GLBT Mailer to Voters
The Houston GLBT Political Caucus strongly condemns the recent anti-GLBT campaign mailpiece sent to voters by incumbent HISD Trustee Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez. The mailpiece attacks his opponent, Ramiro Fonseca for supporting equal rights for the GLBT community and for receiving the endorsement of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus PAC.
“GLBT youth are twelve times more likely to be bullied in schools, five times more likely to commit suicide, and eight times more likely to be homeless.” said Caucus president Noel Freeman. “A bigoted homophobe like Rodriguez has no business making decisions that affect our children.”
HISD recently adopted a non-discrimination policy that protects the rights of GLBT students, staff and faculty. Rodriguez’ anti-GLBT attitude runs strongly against that policy and promotes an environment of intolerance and hatred. Our schools should be an environment where our children feel safe and welcome.
“Manuel Rodriguez is assuming the voters of District III share the same bigoted, hateful views he holds.” Freeman said. “Houstonians have proven time and time again that such views are not welcome in our City, and have consistently rejected candidates who espouse such hateful views. We urge the voters of District III to reject Manuel Rodriguez on election day.”
We are also asking Caucus members and allies to call on the Houston Chronicle to reconsider its endorsement of Rodriguez because his hateful views do not represent Houston and to call on the Rodriguez campaign to apologize to the GLBT community.